Thursday 24th May 2018,
The Hoop Doctors

Celtics to Trade Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Clippers?

Stephen A. Smith is at it again.

Speaking on ESPN’s First Take, Smith spoke of a potential blockbuster that could eventually go down between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Clippers. And I’m not even sure “blockbuster” does it justice.

The deal in question would have both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett being sent to the Clippers in exchange for Blake Griffin, Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan and Caron Butler. Oh, and Doc Rivers would be switching locales too (via

The deal that Smith brought up on First Take would reportedly send Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Clippers for Blake Griffin, Eric Bledsoe, DeAndre Jordan and Caron Butler. Doc Rivers would also then sign on to coach Los Angeles. The idea behind the trade would be to keep Chris Paul from ditching the Clippers for greener pastures.

For what it’s worth, the trade happens to work in the ESPN NBA Trade Machine.

Sign it, seal it and mail it out then, right? Um, no.

I won’t say this scenario seems cockamamie, but it is implied. Why would the Clippers engage in such talks? And I’m being serious.

Vinny Del Negro is likely to be fired, Jordan’s offensive incompetency hasn’t served him well in Los Angeles and Butler only likes to score in the fourth quarter. Parting ways with any of the aforementioned would then make sense. But Griffin? That’s crazy. Absolutely insane.

Young Blake is arguably a top-15 star, and though he’s been plagued by injuries, dealing him in favor of two stars on the wrong side of 35 doesn’t make much sense, even if it does land you Rivers as well.

Or does it?

In the interest of being open-minded, my take is not beyond reproach. Not even close. Not just because the trades works in ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine, but because of the future flexibility this gives the Clippers.

I firmly believe the Celtics would pull the trigger on this deal. They’d be getting a budding prospect in Bledsoe who can play both guard positions, a defensive-oriented big man in Jordan and a superstar in Griffin. This deal also makes either Rajon Rondo or Avery Bradley expendable. They could then take to the trade market so shop them around or work something out where Rondo and Bledsoe start, while Bradley comes off the bench—which quite frankly is where he belongs.

My reserves are on the Clippers’ behalf. After being ousted in the first round of the playoffs by the Memphis Grizzlies, I consider Chris Paul a flight risk. A big one. So the Clippers need to shake things up to keep him in Los Angeles. Would this do the trick?

I have my doubts. Paul is a known proponent of Garnett , but is he really going to be enticed by the prospect of the Clippers depleting their front court depth in exchange for him and Pierce? Again, given the ages of Pierce and Garnett, I have my doubts.

I could also see how this benefits the Clippers, though. They’d still be contenders next season and would have a boat load of cap space in the summer of 2014 when Pierce’s contract comes off the books. They would have even more if Garnett elects to retire.

Let’s assume he finishes his contract out, though. The Clippers would have the ability to re-sign Pierce at a steep discount, and then chase another superstar, like say, LeBron James. Or Dwyane Wade. Or Carmelo Anthony. Or anyone their heart desires. That could be intriguing. Hell, I’d even love for that to happen.

From a realist’s standpoint, however, I don’t see this coming to fruition. It just seems too monstrous a deal. But I will keep my fingers crossed. Partly because I’d love to see Garnett and Pierce play with Paul, but mostly because I’m beyond curious to see how this would play out for both sides.

Have I somehow convinced myself that this is a good deal for the Clippers? No. They’re assuming a vast majority of the risk here. There’s no guarantee Pierce and Garnett stay healthy, and there’s certainly no guarantee that they land a superstar next summer.

Still, it’s fun to toil with the whimsical. Just ask our good friend Stephen A. And it’s like he said, we can’t rule anything out when it comes to the Celtics and Clippers.

Dan Favale is a firm believer in the three-pointer as well as the notion that defense doesn’t always win championships. His musings can be found at in addition to Follow @danfavale on Twitter for his latest posts and all things NBA.

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